July 30, 2009


seems like it's a dirty word, but isn't.


1. lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid.
2. proceeding from or indicating a cowardly spirit.


July 28, 2009

Mile high

We're having a round of constant dreary gray weather this week - the first we've had since April. I'm not counting the afternoon storms. Anyway. It feels pretty claustrophobic and I just today realized why.

The logic? Denver is a mile higher than the sea level. A mile closer to the clouds. The clouds are lower than back east. Hence the claustrophobic I'm-going-to-be-buried-alive feel.

I can't believe I never realized this before.


July 25, 2009

On the highest road in the nation

I have a few more pictures, but these are all I had time to do this morning.

Note that one of the mooseelkdeer on the left has a radio collar
A young buck. The only one with this herd that I saw
One of my fave pics
Similar shot, different post-process (aka photoshop fixing).
Some bird...at one of the scenic outlooks we stopped at, there was a display picture of this bird, and a bunch of very excited people pointing this bird out. "Lookit! Same bird as the picture!"


July 24, 2009

Friday Apollo

(it's still friday my time!)


July 22, 2009

When can you see lightnings and stars directly overhead?

Last Tuesday night, apparently.

We had a freak storm in my town Tuesday night - from what I heard, it was one of the worst the natives ever saw. We had hurricane-force winds, over 80 mph. Lightnings raged overhead, and it was so close. Remember, Denver is a mile higher; closer to the cloud. So close I was seriously worried about our safety. It went like this: CRACKBOOMCRACKCRACKBOOM

Recently I read somewhere that the lightnings themselves, when they arc, it's soundless - the subsequent thunder is from air being displaced so forcefully. The storm Tuesday night disproved that.

The storm dropped marble-sized hail in my area. It covered the ground so thoroughly that it looked like snow. When I went outside, I discovered that it was at least three inches deep.

(sorry about the bad pic)

There was so much hail on the ground that the next morning, a thick fog formed and rolled in off the mountains. This is also abnormal for Denver. The hail took its sweet time melting. Yesterday at about 2 or 3 PM, I took Apollo for a walk and discovered that we still had clumps of hail on the ground.

Anyway, back to the tale. The wind, as I said, was blowing so hard that it was horizontal. Eighty miles per hour wind - and possibly higher. I couldn't sleep through this, so I sat at my very big window and watched the trees bend under the weight. I was convinced they would break and fall on my cars. Fortunately, the ones in front of my apartment didn't. My neighbors weren't so lucky.

When the wind and hail died down, all of my neighbors and I went outside to check the damage out and assess the situation. We didn't have any power, and camping taught me it's rude to shine a flashlight in someone's face. So I had to satisfy myself by wandering around. I looked skyward to try see if we were getting another set of storms and what I saw was amazing. No pics, unfortunately. The sky was divided in half; the western portion was crystal clear with a few lazy puffs of clouds obscuring the stars. And the other half, moving slowly eastward, mean clouds, occasionally lit purple or blue by the lightnings, lingered. Lightnings were still just as bad as during the height of the storm, bursting through the clouds. I'm not a poet, and I'm not describing it very well. Suffice it to say, it was very impressive.

This is what my front walk looked like. Where is it?

Where's the grass? And yes, that's the fallen tree in the background.


July 20, 2009

Hilarious Monday

I haven't really blogged much lately. That's mainly because I've been occupied with boring stuff. You know...looking for freelance work.

I reassessed my finance over the weekend, and I don't have enough moolah to last the rest of the year. Which I expected, but had hoped wouldn't be the case. So after my folks visit this week, I'll be rejoining the workforce, at least part-time to help stretch out the bucks. Disclaimer for the family that read this: I'm fine, really. Just being smart.


I'll probably look for something really local (read: walking distance) so that I don't have to drive. Greener, easier on my car, etc, etc. Also am going to look for a weekend job as a photographer assistant or second shooter. All the while still continuing to work on freelance writing. So I'll basically have three jobs. Or four, if you count the etsy gig. I'm so looking forward to the taxes next spring...not. By my count, I'll have had 4 taxable jobs this year (etsy is excluded for the time being because it hasn't generated enough income to trigger the tax factor).

Speaking of. My Etsy shop is open, although all it has currently is about 10 different cards. If anyone hears a friend or acquaintance wants a custom card, pass the link on! jenniferannphotos.etsy.com If you have an etsy account and like what you see, please "heart" the account. I'm told that it helps give a shop a little extra credibility. I am going to advertise this and my writing service on a few sites, hopefully that'll drum up some business too.

That's about all the news on this end.


July 17, 2009

Friday Apollo


July 16, 2009

If a hiking trail guide book says to

bring stuff for mosquitoes...Do it!

Tip: If you don't have any repellant on hand, a sheet of dryer sheet is said to be helpful. Just stick it in a pocket.

Of course, I didn't even think to grab one this morning before heading out to a hike. I'm very itchy now. ITCHY!


July 13, 2009

Hooked on a feeling

by Hasselhoff
I don't know the story on this music video, but it's hilarious.


July 11, 2009

The horrifying terrible...


Apollo is scared to death of it. Facepalm


July 10, 2009

Friday Apollo


July 7, 2009

Fun with lights

In a single billionth nanosecond of time, photons collides and there is light. It collides again and again. Put all the billions of nanoseconds of colliding light photons together and it's still faster than a human eye can comprehend.

Pretty cool.


July 5, 2009

Conserving power

Weather was lousy last night and because I didn't make backup plans, I stayed home to catch up on my reading. While cleaning yesterday, I found a couple magazines I forgot I had, and flipped through them.

One article in National Geographic caught my eye. It discussed energy, CO2 usage, our carbon footprint, and so on. An average two-person household's emissions is roughly about 38,000 pounds per year. America produces a fifth of world's CO2 emissions - about six billion metric tons a year. And it'll grow to 7 billion in 15 years if we don't go on a diet. Scary.

Read the article here

Last month, my utility bill gave me a sticker shock. The previous month, it was only $25 and for whatever reason, it excluded the gas utility - just had water, sewer and electricity. So of course, that missing gas utility ($20) was included in the next bill. Doesn't sound like much, but water and electricity also went up. Total? $87. Excluding gas, that was roughly 60% increase. When I imagined what my winter bills would be like, I was not happy.

The bill, coupled with the mag article, prompted me to go through the apartment looking for ways to help minimize the bill.

  • Water heater - this is one of the biggest energy users in a home (emits avg 2,171-5,500 pounds of CO2/year - depends on what kind of water heater you have). I often hear encouragement to turn down the temperature, but one problem that I suspect I'm not alone in is my water heater doesn't have gauge indicating how how hot the water is in degrees. It just has "hot," "vacation," and "cold" options. Because it's summer and I rarely need hot water, other than for an occasional use of the dishwasher, I turned my dial to vacation mode. I haven't noticed a difference in the water temp during showers because I prefer lukewarm to cold water showers.
  • Refrigerator - this is one of the other bigger energy sucks in a household - although the newer models are not as bad as 30 years ago (about 1,500 pounds/yr). If you have an old fridge, as I do, and are in a position to replace it, look for an energy-star one. They are much more energy-efficient and will save you oodles in your bills. If, like me, you can't replace it just yet, look inside your refrigerator and see if it has an "energy-saver" switch. Mine does, and in summers, it forms condensation along the seals; I just wipe it down regularly.
  • Power plugs - they do not take up as much energy as the large appliances, but when you have as many as I do, it adds up quickly. They, even when the appliance is off or not in use, continue to draw power. I took a quick count last night and found that I could unplug at least half of what's plugged into my power strip. Camera battery charger, cellphone charger, printer and a couple others. I can't link to the exact picture but if you go here and browse through the photo gallery, there's one that shows you a heat picture of the power strip when appliances are not in use.
  • Computers -I'm guilty of leaving my computer on 24/7 because it "takes so long to boot up!" But it's not that long compared with computers 15, 10 or even three years ago. And contrary to the popular belief, shutting down and starting a computer does not affect its lifespan, nor does it damage anything. It does not use more power to start up/shut down especially when you consider that you use far more to leave it in idle and sleep mode.
  • Air conditioning - fortunately, I'm in a part of a country where it's not really necessary. I have yet to turn the AC on so far this summer, even on 90+ days. I did read up on ACs and was interested to find out that central air are worse in terms of energy use and cooling ability than window units. Most people don't use their entire house on a daily basis and central air cools all rooms. Waste of energy. For those of you with central AC, consider installing ceiling fans (see below). Keep your blinds drawn on the south and west-facing sides, leave the blinds up on east and north sides and open your windows to let the breeze in. That will help circulate the air.
  • Fans - if you got fans, especially ceiling...use 'em, even with AC on. They help recirculate the air and on hot days, are a godsend. My apartment doesn't get much of a crossbreeze, so I make use of the ceiling fan and the floor fan. Even on the hottest day, it rarely goes above 80 degrees in here (unless I forget to turn them on before noon). That would be uncomfortable if I had to wear work clothes, but in shorts and tees, no big deal.
I am eagerly awaiting my next bill to see how much of a difference my efforts has made. As eager as someone can be for a bill.


July 3, 2009

Shooting stars

Tonight I saw a real one. And the fireworks, of course. The town I live in, for some reason, decided to celebrate the 4th a day early. Fine by me - gives me some practice before tomorrow. I used my smaller lens instead of the big one 'cause I wasn't sure how far away the fireworks would be from where I was. I guessed wrong on how far away I'd be. Lots of cropping = no big pictures of them.

Of the 170 pictures I took tonight, this is my favorite.

My second-favorite, even though it's slightly blurry.


Friday Apollo

(I forgot it's Friday)
Pic taken a couple weeks ago


Happiness is...

  • hearing my dog crunch happily on a marrow bone. His breath is vile, he needs it!
  • freshly cut grass even though it makes me itchy and sneezy
  • happy screams of kids running around outside even though they give me a headache. Better outside than in.
  • warm breeze wafting in to cool you at the very moment the heat becomes intolerable
  • watching billowy white clouds drifting in to form massive, impressive thunder clouds
  • feeling of accomplishment when a small yet oppressive task is accomplished (usually cleaning)
  • forming another goal to work on
  • driving with the windows down even though it makes a wretched tangle of my hair
What small things in your daily life makes you happy?


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